Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bakersfield park said to be haunted by ghost of murder victim

Covered bridge over the canal where a ghost is said to haunt
Bakersfield's Central Park.

Today I decided to share a story from the southern part of the Central Valley, from the city of Bakersfield. And if my research on this tells me anything, it's one of the more prevalent ghost stories there.

There have been tales of a lady in white wandering the grounds of Bakersfield's Central Park for as long as the park has been around. Created in 1937, Central Park is located between 21st Street and 19th Street, just east of R Street. According to local legend a woman was shot and killed in the park and her bones were found buried at an old foundry and supposedly they were riddled with bullet holes.

Witnesses have reported seeing the ghost of a woman, usually wearing a white flowing robe or gown; wander along the park's canal right before sunrise. Some think she is looking for help, hoping someone will find her murderer. Others think she is just lost and wanders the place where she was killed.

What's interesting about this story that it seems to be a mixture of the Lady in White and La Llorona stories. Now I'm not saying it's just another local urban legend (though all evidence seems to point to that being a yes), but there are questions I have about this story. For one, who was this woman and why was she murdered at this park? A jealous lover, victim of a mugging, or something else? Every telling of this story didn't have this information. As for the bones that were said to be found, I don't know how true this is. And what's to link them with the woman who is said to have been murdered in the park?

So the question is this: another local urban legend that has been passed down through the years from word of mouth (and not made popular by the internet)? Or is there some truth to this story and an innocent woman was killed at this park and wanders it to this day, either looking for help or doomed to walk it for eternity?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is a local Selma museum haunted?

It's said that if you visit the Selma Pioneer Village, located in the small town of Selma, that you can hear ghostly noises and sometimes see shadowy figures in the trees at night.

The Selma Pioneer Village started in 1980 when local resident Art Gonzales began collecting historic Selma area buildings. These included a Queen Anne style home, St. Ansgar's Lutheran Church, a railroad depot, the Unger Opera House, a doctor's office and the very first school house in Selma. There's also a large collection of ag equipment and tools as well other antique furnishings including toys and medical equipment.

The paranormal stories stem from an over night stay at the park. One witness claimed to have heard strange noises that sounded like spurs jangling while they were there late one night, but upon investigating they couldn't find where the noises were coming from or who was making them. Later that night they begin to hear what sounded like children laughing and when they went outside to see who was there, shadowy figures were seen darting from tree to tree. Another witness claimed to have heard noises coming from the area where the dutch ovens (very large, heavy oven) were at. But when a flashlight was shined on the area, there was no one there.

So that leads to the question, who or what is causing these strange incidents? Given the fact that most, if not all the buildings are over 100 years old there is a good chance that a spirit may have formed an attachment to one of them. And as far as I know, not all the buildings were originally at the same location, but were relocated there. It's a theory among paranormal investigators that when a rumored haunted spot has any work done to it, or even moved as in this case, that spirit activity increases due to the disturbances going on. Could the fact that some of the buildings aren't in the original location have awakened any spirit that was attached to them and now they make their presence known to anyone who visits the village?

Another theory is that it's a residual haunting, that the sounds of spurs and children laughing (remember there's an old school house there) are just a replay of events that happened over a century ago. For whatever these sounds get played over and over and as the years progress get fainter and fainter as the energy dissipates.

As for what really is at the Selma Pioneer Village, it's hard to say. But the rumors of it being haunted have persisted for years as a friend of mine, who has lived in Selma all her life, told me she heard it was haunted since she was a kid. So it definitely wasn't some random incident and there is definitely something there if it's known to be haunted.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weird Fresno teams up with Ghost Tripping for video series.

A few weeks ago I had mentioned both on Facebook and my Twitter feed that I was working on a new project but couldn't really go into detail. I'm glad to say that I can now reveal exactly what I was working on.

I was contacted by a local film production company by the name of Ghost Tripping who was interested in documenting on film local haunts around the valley. They wanted me to act as their expert on the story and would film me before venturing to the location itself to film and tell the story as well as recreate what is said to have happened.

For our first endeavor they wanted to tackle the ever familiar Channel Road. Having recently just gone there I had some new stories that I wanted to share. Met up with them for an hour or so and they filmed me talking about Channel Road. They told me they were then going to film the rest later and would let me know when it was ready.

Received an e-mail earlier this week saying that they were done filming and had a trailer to tease what the final project would be.

The finished product should be done sometime in early March and I will post it then. I'm looking forward to my partnership with Ghost Trippers as finally the local legends can be filmed as they should.